Connecticut is not a place you’d think you’d find the next dancehall star, but it’s not such a stretch. The state just northeast of New York City is home to one of the largest Jamaican expat communities, most notably in the area of Hartford. Kingston native Alandon calls that city home now (after relocating from Waterhouse, home of the legendary King Jammy’s studio and sound system), and judging by the strength of his debut single, he just might soon put “the Constitution State” on the map for Caribbean music.
His “1980”—which was first heard on the radio broadcast of a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game, of all places, and which you can stream here in full for the first time—is a catchy, melodic dancehall tribute to di gyal dem doing old-school bubbling (dancing) styles. There’s more than a touch of Vybz Kartel in Alandon’s flow, and a bit of pop-mode Gyptian, as well; the multi-layered riddim isn’t your typical dancehall instrumental, though, with a touch of Latin flavor, and a trance-style breakdown. We wouldn’t be surprised to see this one follow Kranium’s “Nobody Has to Know” onto urban-radio playlists this summer. Stream below and buy “1980” here.